Memorandum submitted by Dr John Reid MP
S HILLIARD AND
This analysis is repeated from Dr Reid`s submission
to Ms Filkin in July 2000. It was accordingly drafted prior to
seeing Ms Filkin`s draft Report and some of the materials she
included therein. Other parts of Dr Reid`s submission but not
the whole submission, are included in the annex to Ms Filkin draft
This analysis carefully and precisely considers the
material that Ms Filkin reveals to Dr Reid and conclusively disproves
the complaint. It is interesting that materials contained with
Ms Filkin`s later draft Report in fact fully support the assessments
in paragraphs 6.2 and 6.5.
Response of Dr Reid MP
to Complaint received from the Parliamentary Commissioner for
dated 27 January 2000
and Questions put to Dr Reid by the Parliamentary Commissioner
dated 19 May 2000
1. The accusation against Dr Reid is to
the effect his employment of Suzanne Hilliard (SH) and Kevin Reid
(KR) was a sham. The accusation is not made out.
2. SH states she worked mornings for Dr
Reid in the relevant period. No witness controverts this. She
was thus able to combine her voluntary work for the Labour Party
and her 20 hours per week for Dr Reid. She did so. The accusation
that she was in fact paid by Dr Reid to work for the Labour Party
is thus demonstrated to be unsupportable. Dr Reid denies the accusation.
3. KR worked for both Dr Reid and the Labour
Party over some 5 months. Both positions were part-time. Exceeding
his contracted hours for the Labour Party would not and did not
prevent him from carrying out his contractual duties for Dr Reid.
These duties were real and he carried them out. There is nothing
in the material before the PCS that establishes the accusation
or contradicts KR`s statements. The accusation is unsupportable.
Dr Reid denies the accusation.
4. Dr Reid provided in February 2000 a rebuttal
to the complaint together with statements from SH and KR. He was
provided with materials and a series of questions sent by the
PCS on 19 May 2000. In correspondence he discovered the existence
of a further note which was subsequently provided to him on 19th
June 2000. Dr Reid has consistently repudiated the accusations
against him with reasons as may be seen from examination of his
correspondence with the PCS.
5. The statements and materials adduced
in support of the accusation contain vague, speculative, contradictory
and at times odd assertions. Precise and specific support for
the accusation is absent. No case to answer is demonstrated.
6. The provenance of the accusation is a
journalist, who has in the past unsuccessfully accused Kevin Reid
of being in breach of the standards of the Scottish Parliament.
It is unclear whether he revealed this history to the PCS. Further
the journalist (as the PCS is now aware) has been the subject
of criticism in the South Wales enquiry for making accusations
7. The individuals referred to by the journalist
in support of his accusation have all left employment with the
Labour Party in circumstances that do not appear to have been
revealed by them to the PCS.
8. Given the terms on which material has
been provided to Dr Reid (viz. that only where conflict was revealed
with his statement were transcripts provided), it is assumed that
the four individuals` transcripts aside, the other eight persons
named in the complaint have supported Dr Reid`s denial of the
complaint. In addition it is assumed that Lesley Quinn, the current
General Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party, who was present
at the Scottish Labour Party at the relevant periods and familiar
with SH`s and KR`s work support Dr Reid`s denial of the complaint.
1. The complaint in connection with Suzanne
Hilliard (SH) is that when Kevin Reid left Dr Reid`s employment
in October 1998 "The part time salary which had been paid
to Kevin was then switched to a Labour Campaign volunteer, Suzanne
It is alleged SH was "falsely passed off ...
as [a] Westminster [Researcher] in order to help fund Labour`s
2. Thus the relevant period in respect of
SH is November 1998 to her leaving Dr Reid`s employment in June
1999. The complaint must show evidence of SH`s not working for
Dr Reid despite being presented as so doing to the Fees Office.
It is implied that SH was not in a position to carry out work
for Dr Reid as a result of her Labour Party duties it is necessary
to examine what is revealed about her work and working hours generally.
3. To find the complaint established in
the case of SH it is necessary to disbelieve what SH had said
in her statement and in her interview with the PCS. There is no
basis for any judgement other than that SH is telling the truth.
Dr Reid confirms SH`s statements.
HOURS - OCT
1998 - JUNE 1999
(References are to SH`s interview transcript unless
SH states her hours of voluntary work for the Labour
Party as 3-4 hours per day during the week. This represented a
continuation of voluntary work throughout her time at University
(p.4). She identifies the hours as 3.30/4.00 pm - 6.30/7.00 pm
(at p.7). Towards the election (May 1999) time spent by SH was
increased to 6-7 hours per day on a voluntary basis and was at
this pitch for 2-3 weeks before the election (p.5). She had taken
time off university studies by this stage. She did not work 6-7
hours every day and not at all on weekends (p.5) except for a
few hours during the last 3 weeks of the campaign (note 1, p.5).
Again at page 12 SH confirms being at Delta House (Labour Party)
"in the afternoon and early evening" and "quite
late at night" in the period near the election (at p.13).
She gives her hours in the 2-3 weeks before the election (at p.13)
as starting at 2 pm and "sometimes doing about eight".
It is not clear whether she means 2- 8 pm (6 hours) or 8 hours
from 2 pm. She also says that sometimes she went in about 4 pm,
leaving about 10 pm (6 hours). Thus the accusations (i) from several
(unidentified) witnesses (p.12) saying SH was "full time
available for Labour Party work" is rejected by SH; (ii)
from "somebody" (unidentified) that she worked "
very very long hours" (p.13) in the few weeks prior to the
election is rejected by SH; (iii) from one witness (unidentified)
that SH was "taken on by the Party with Maxton`s money"
is rejected firstly since she took a summer job with Mr Maxton
after the election in June-September 1999 and secondly
since it is in any event irrelevant to any complaint against Dr
Reid. The fact that witnesses were not identified to SH means
that she was not able to comment whether these people were in
any position to form clear views about her hours spent working
for the Labour Party. The unreliability of the witnesses against
SH is perhaps shown by the observation about "Maxton`s money",
her employment by Mr Maxton not taking place until after Labour`s
5. Thus the position regarding SH is that
she was a student who was in the habit of volunteering 3-4 hours
per day work for the Labour Party. There was not any change to
this on her taking time out from university and accepting a job
with Dr Reid save in the 2-3 weeks before the election when she
increased her voluntary work to 6-7 hours per day excluding weekends.
6. The accusation seems to have been pursued
on the basis that SH was working so hard for the Labour Party
that she could not have worked for Dr Reid for the contracted
period of "20 hours variable" (See SH`s contract).
SH`s evidence is a complete rebuttal of the accusation.
She states (p.5) that she "was working for Dr Reid in the
morning". She was introduced to Dr Reid by Kevin Reid. She
says she was "quite excited because it was a really good
opportunity." This would hardly square with the notion that
she was in reality merely continuing to do work for the Labour
Party. She took over Kevin`s duties in respect of the press work.
SH states that work for Dr Reid was mainly carried out "in
Glasgow in the mornings"(p.9). "I would work for John
(Dr Reid) in the morning" (p.11), "I always had my mornings
free to do my work for Dr Reid which I took very seriously"
(p.13 ); Note 3 (p.9) "I did my press work for Dr Reid in
the morning". It may be observed that had SH not been available
to Dr Reid it would have been impossible for him to deal with
his constituency work while carrying out his duties as a minister.
8. As to hours, given the nature of the
work and her contract these were not fixed for each day. SH identifies
the work as "keeping an eye on the local papers" (p.7).
"Keeping him updated on what was happening, keeping an eye
on anything to do with transport" (p.7) "dealing with
his mail" and covering for Dr Reid`s hospitalised constituency
assistant (p.9), "press cuttings" (p.9) mail (p.10),
"dealing with mail, a lot of it, reading all the circulars"
(p.11). The hours worked per day for Dr Reid were not fixed. SH
states that these varied from 6 hours one day, another day three
hours, `an hour at the weekend or whatever". (p.11) With
an obligation of "20 hours variable" it can be seen
that this was easily capable of being accomplished each week,
even during the 2-3 weeks before the election. Pre-campaign, time
very easily allowed Dr Reid`s work to be done. During the campaign
there were still weekday mornings and most of the weekend to carry
out Dr Reid`s work. In any event "20 hours variable"
meant precisely that ie the period of 20 hours was not fixed per
week but variable, not requiring exact fulfilment each week.
9. SH`s interview with Ms Filkin in April
2000 accords substantially with the statement provided with Dr
Reid`s initial response. The only reference that suggests that
in the 2-3 weeks before the election SH`s time was pressured is
that she notes that she did "about 12-15 hours of constituency
work per week" at that time. (Statement, p.4) Given that
the contract was "20 hours variable" she did not require
contractually to spend precisely 20 hours each week on Dr Reid`s
work. (See above)
SH IS NOT
The accusation involving Ms Hilliard is illustrative
of the quality of the complaint against Dr Reid. It may be noted
that she received an upsetting phone call from a journalist making
accusations towards her (p.16) in January. It is not clear if
Mr Nelson was the journalist or whether he has played a tape recording
of this call to the PCS. When one looks for support for the complaint
from the statements provided with the PCS`s letter of 19 May 2000
there are only impressions of the vaguest nature.
11. Mr Rowley seems to think, wrongly, SH was
paid by the Labour Party (AR p.2) and states "SH complained
that she was under extreme pressure" (AR p.3). He does not
say he saw her at Delta House morning and afternoon. He does not
say if he was in a position to be aware of her movements during
the day nor the extent of the work she was doing. Mr Rowley`s
statements betray a high degree of unreliability. At AR, page
4 (Q14) he is recorded as saying:
"I do not however recall any arrangement with
Suzanne but accept I would have agreed how she was being paid,
I simply do not remember what the arrangement was."
SH was incontrovertibly a volunteer. Mr Rowley`s
recollection is not impressive. Again at AR page 5, Q 14:
"I suspect that I told SH but I can`t remember
that but I would have certainly had a discussion with her because
we were changing contracts."
Mr Rowley reveals himself to be confused. As a volunteer
SH had no contract with the Labour Party. Mr Rowley`s statements
regarding SH are no foundation for any complaint against Dr Reid.
They do cast considerable doubt over his reliability as a witness.
As presumably a source for Mr Nelson (although this is not stated)
doubt is also cast on Mr Nelson`s reliance on Mr Rowley to found
his complaint, (see complaint):
"Although Rowley and his colleagues knew the
arrangements to be against Westminster rules they were not concerned
about Hilliard receiving Reid`s money"
and his suggestion
"... John Maxton MP who also later paid Suzanne
Hilliard despite her full time work for Labour`s campaign."
The financial documents presumably produced to the
PCS by Mr Rowley contain no reference whatsoever to SH. This is
not explained by Mr Rowley. It is of course consonant with the
true position of SH`s volunteer status.
12. Mr Sullivan is an unimpressive witness in
respect of SH. He was not SH`s line manager and was therefore
not in a position to monitor her hours of work. He did not work
with SH. He does not say he was in any position to be aware of
her actual hours. He does identify SH as a volunteer (WS p.3)
for the Labour Party but then says (WS p.3) contradictorily:
"... I sort of understood that she had become
full time working for the Labour Party"
He agrees he understood SH had a paid post. This
appears to mean a paid post with the Labour Party. He is plainly
in error and was not in any event in a position to know the facts
concerning SH. As to SH`s hours, Mr Sullivan`s answers is at best
vague (WS p.4)
"I had probably seen her there at
different times during the day".
This is a weak point as he says at WS p.5:
"That is the assumption I made about what everybody
else was doing but I could not say."
And at WS p.6
"I did not really work that closely with any
of them because what I was doing was party organisation"
Mr Sullivan is hardly a reliable witness although
perhaps interestingly he supports partially SO`s statement of
her working period at WS p.9:
"My recollection of Suzanne was that she did
the later shift most often. It might not always have been."
"I thought that was starting early in the afternoon
but I did not know. It was just an assumption I made ..."
Mr Sullivan appears to have been one of Mr Nelson`s
sources (p.11). It is not clear when he spoke to Mr Nelson. It
is also not clear how he came to be a witness as Mr Nelson made
not mention of him. In any event like Mr Rowley his statement
is neither reliable nor impressive but rather vague and revealing
that he is uninformed about SH.
13. Mr Rafferty is not a sound witness in respect
of SH. In his statement of 18 April at Q.5 he says nothing about
SH` hours. At Q.6 he says "everyone worked all the hours
there were". This is not specific to SH. He does not say
she was there in the mornings. He does not say whether he was
monitoring her attendance (which of course he would not have been
given his position). Rather Mr Rafferty makes a number of assumptions
to derive what he calls "the only logical conclusion"
(Q.9) but these assumptions are untested and of course unsound.
In his statement of 1 March at p.7 it is put to Mr Rafferty that
SH "worked full time on the campaign". He did not confirm
this. He did point out that he thought (correctly) that SH was
a volunteer. (p.8) It was repeatedly put to Mr Rafferty that SH
work "full time". Finally, at p.9 a double question
is put to him:
"Q. So would your impression be that was a full
time member of staff, somebody about most of the time?
A. Yes. She worked very hard indeed."
The passage does not establish when this was or what
times SH was present.
Again at p.10 it is put in a long paragraph inter
"You have said that there was a period of time
in which SH was working full-time on the campaign, as far as you
were concerned, you did not know about the hours but you assumed
This is however not put as a question and elicits
"Well, to be clear ..."
Mr Rafferty`s statement of 24 March is silent about
SH. There is nothing to show Mr Rafferty is qualified by recollection
or knowledge to speak to SH`s hours worked. Without knowledge
of SH`s hours, Mr Rafferty is not in a position to give evidence
against Dr Reid in respect of SH.
14. It can undoubtedly be checked with the Scottish
Labour Party that SH was a volunteer. People who worked closely
with SH will be able to vouch for her working afternoons/early
evenings, primarily during the week. Lesley Quinn would have a
better idea of SH`s Labour Party hours than Messrs Rafferty, Rowley
or Sullivan, none of whom worked in proximity to SH. Messrs Rafferty
and Rowley in fact worked from a separate room the blinds of which
were frequently drawn, during the latter`s occupancy.
Mr Nelson`s complaint in respect of SH and Dr
Reid is not couched in tentative terms but is direct. The foregoing
reveals the accusation as clearly baseless. It is expressed with
the same apparent certainty by Mr Nelson as his other accusations.
It is instructive therefore that the accusation is baseless. It
must reflect adversely on the rest of his complaint and the persons
on whom he relies to advance his accusations.
1. The complaint in connection with Kevin
Reid (KR) is that he worked "full-time" for the Labour
Party from May 1998 although he had only a part-time contract
with the Labour Party and a part-time contract with Dr Reid. In
other words it is said Dr Reid improperly subsidised KR`s "full-time"
work for the Labour Party. Other factors Mr Nelson raises in connection
with the complaint are that Dr Reid suggested this arrangement
to Paul McKinney after a Labour Party Scottish Strategy Group
meeting in April 1998 and that in October 1998 Dr Reid sought
a change in KR`s employment status presumably to conceal the alleged
2. The relevant period in respect of KR
is 25 May 1998 to October 1998. KR was employed solely by the
Labour Party after October 1998 until June 1999. The complaint
must show that KR did not carry out his contracted duties for
Dr Reid during the relevant period. It does not do so. To find
the complaint established it is necessary to disbelieve Dr Reid
and KR. There is no basis to determine they are stating other
than the truth.
3. The material presented by the PCS is
analysed to show KR`s hours in the relevant period permitted fulfilment
of his contractual duties for Dr Reid, the context of what KR
in fact did for Dr Reid and the circumstances of KR`s initial
employment in 25 May 1998 and his subsequent full-time employment
in October 1998.
4.1 The period of 25 May to October 1998 is the
only relevant period arising in respect of the complaint. In November
1998 KR gave up his "20 hour variable" per week position
with Dr Reid and thereafter worked solely for the Labour Party
until shortly after the elections, viz. June 1999. There is thus
no issue that Fees Office money may have been used to fund KR
after October 1998. It is important to note that prior to May
1998 KR had in fact been working for Dr Reid for a substantial
period of years.
4.2 Mr Rowley states KR`s hours in the relevant
period as from before 7.45 am to 1.30- 2.00 pm with an earlier
starting hour in August 1998. It is not clear how Mr Rowley can
say this as he makes clear he was not in Delta House when KR arrived.
(AR para 3) Mr Rowley shows the confusion that runs through the
complaint that KR was working a "full-time shift for the
Party and I believe Kevin Reid worked full-time for the party..."
(AR para 3). He appears to imply that if KR worked the hours stated
he could not carry out his duties for Dr Reid. That plainly does
not follow. KR states his hours with the Labour Party in the relevant
period to be (KR p.5) "Initially my hours for the Labour
Party were around about 8 o`clock to 11 o`clock in the morning";
(KR p.5) within about 8 weeks (ie July 1998) it was suggested
that we should catch the lunchtime broadcasts as well ... what
I would do was do the brief from around seven, half past seven
to nine in the morning. I would then have a couple of hours of
my own ... and then I would return to the office ... to do the
twelve to half past one slot ... and that would be my day over."
At page 6 (KR), KR says "I was finished by about half past
one, quarter to two." This represents a period of 3 hours
per day May to July 1998, and thereafter 4 to 4½ hours from
July 1998 onwards. Mr Rowley did not supervise KR nor does he
say how he would be in a position to say KR worked "full-time"
for the Labour Party. In fact Mr Rowley`s statement appears to
support substantially KR`s statement of hours worked, although
it appears he was unaware that KR had a break from 9.00 am to
11.00 am. It is Mr Rowley`s use of the term "full-time"
and his perception that KR could not do his work for Dr Reid that
4.3 KR`s statement provided to the PCS by Dr
Reid in February 2000 with Dr Reid`s statement gives KR`s start
date with the Labour Party as 25 May 1998, his contracted hours
15 hours per week, his daily hours as 8.30 am-11.30 am, leaving
about lunchtime (page 2). This might thus be about 4 hours per
day. He states he did not work full time with the Labour Party
until October 1998 (page 3). He notes his total contractual hours
prior to October 1998 as 35 hours per week (page 4), being 15
hours for the Labour Party and 20 hours variable for Dr Reid.
4.4 KR is to some extent supported in respect
of hours worked by Paul McKinney (PM Q7) "Some days 2 to
3 hours, some days much longer". The qualification is unspecific.
It is not clear however that Mr McKinney is talking about the
relevant period as he left work with the Labour Party on 21 May
1998 prior to KR`s employment (PM Q1). In the "record of
an interview" Mr McKinney is said to put KR as arriving at
8 am "but was around for the rest of the day". This
of course is Mr Nelson`s note and not Mr McKinney`s words. The
transcript provided by Mr Nelson is silent as to hours. Mr McKinney
is not in a position to give any direct evidence as to KR`s work
in the relevant period. In his complaint Mr Nelson describes KR
beginning work in May 1998 "with Paul McKinney as his [KR`s]
line manager." This is not borne out by Mr McKinney`s statement.
It may be noted that the only direct statement from Mr McKinney
is the interview with the PCS. The other material comes through
the intermediation of Mr Nelson.
4.5 William Sullivan who did not start with the
Labour Party until August 1998 (WS p.2) says of KR`s hours (at
WS p.3) "... he was in the office for five or six o`clock
in the morning and he went away early afternoon."
He does not say how he would be in a position to
know KR`s hours of work. No-one else says KR was in the office
at 5 am during the relevant period. Such an early start did however
arise for a few weeks prior to the election when KR was working
full-time for the Labour Party under his contract. In answer to
the statement put to him "He did a full day`s work for the
Labour Party" Mr Sullivan does not fully accept the proposition.
He says "Yes; well, within those hours" (see WS p.3).
Mr Sullivan does say at WS p.6:
"... I did not really work that closely with
any of them (including KR) because what I was doing was party
It therefore becomes clear Mr Sullivan was not in
a position to know KR`s hours. Further Mr Sullivan does not state
when he was present at Delta House for that part of the relevant
period he was employed by the Labour Party - viz August - October
4.6 John Rafferty cannot of course give any direct
evidence as to when KR worked during the relevant period as he
did not start work with the Labour Party until January 1999. By
that time KR was contracted to work solely for the Labour Party
and had given up working for Dr Reid. Mr Rafferty (1/3/2000 p.7)
"I understand that Kevin Reid worked for the
Labour Party campaign from May 1998 to October 1998 full-time;
is that your understanding?"
He replies "I have no knowledge of that",
which of course he did not. It is not clear on whose evidence
the question relies for the assertion of full-time working. What
is remarkable is that in the file note dated 6 April 2000 supplied
to Dr Reid on 19th June 2000 Mr Rafferty is noted as saying "that
as far as I`m concerned ... Kevin Reid worked full-time for the
Labour Party. I believe it would have to be the case that for
some of that time (his salary was) paid from Westminster allowances."
When KR worked full time for the Labour Party he was paid for
by the Labour Party. All Mr Rafferty could have known (as opposed
to have speculated about) is the period after January 1999 when
KR worked full time for the Labour Party and was paid by the Labour
Party. It is curious why Mr Rafferty chose to speculate in this
matter on 6th April 2000. It is nowhere explained why Mr Rafferty
changed his prior statements at that date. No-one establishes
KR worked full time for the Labour Party prior to November 1998.
In the transcript of 18th April 2000 Mr Rafferty is recorded as
saying KR worked full time. He is asked at para. 9.
"EF Do you think it was the case then that
for some of their time when they were working full time for the
Labour Party, very full time, their salaries were being paid from
"JR I can`t say whether they did manage
to work in their spare time for the Members of Parliament. But
if they didn`t then it`s the only logical conclusion."
The passage includes KR within "they".
It would be a gross distortion to contend that this shows KR being
paid by Dr Reid when he was working full time for the Labour Party.
It should also be noted the time frame appears to be about April
1999 (see para 6).
4.7 There is no statement that reliably controverts
KR`s hours worked in the relevant period. Not one witness has
KR leaving after 2 pm during the relevant period. There is no
statement that suggests that KR was not in a position to carry
out his weekly "20 hours variable" of duties for Dr
Reid. KR did in truth carry out those duties for Dr Reid.
5.1 The proposition underlying the complaint
is that KR did not meet his contractual duties for Dr Reid and
that the Parliamentary allowance was thus de facto diverted to
cover his Labour Party work.
5.2 No statement reliably shows KR as working
so materially in excess of his contracted 15 hours for the Labour
Party in the May-October 1998 relevant period as to prevent him
physically from working for 20 hours per week for Dr Reid. There
was no motive to "subsidise" KR with Dr Reid`s allowance
as KR was being paid by the Labour Party in respect of his contracted
15 hours. His actual hours worked for the Labour Party appear
to have been of the order of 20 hours per week. The theory behind
the complaint is that although KR was paid to work 15 hours per
week for the Labour Party, his salary for 20 hours for Dr Reid
was diverted to KR to subsidise his voluntary additional hours
for the Labour Party. This is tenuous in the extreme and presupposes
KR did not work for Dr Reid.
5.3 In his interview and statement KR demonstrated
that he carried out real duties for Dr Reid. His duties were not
a sham. His statement provided with Dr Reid`s statement of February
2000 states that KR had been working part-time for Dr Reid between
October 1996 and October 1998. He had been working for Dr Reid
well before the Labour Scottish campaign. He obtained the additional
position with the Labour Party only after he finished his degree
studies in May 1998. He had thus been carrying out his duties
for Dr Reid on a part-time basis while studying for an LLB for
two years previously. In other words KR had "spare capacity"
to take on the Labour Party job when he had finished his studies.
KR had in fact first worked for Dr Reid as far as back as 10 years
previously in 1988 as his statement reveals.
5.4 In his interview with the PCS of 3 April
2000, KR notes at page 5 "... I had been monitoring the press
for my dad." He states that his work for Dr Reid was done
in the afternoons in the relevant period (May-Oct 1998) at page
"I would then start to work for my father which
was a separate job."
At page 7 he notes press monitoring for Dr Reid in
respect of defence then transport (Dr Reid`s changing responsibilities
as a Minster) and constituency matters. This included monitoring
the local press, press releases, fact finding for press releases,
putting the political issues into the weekly (What`s happening
in the Constituency), researching speeches (see page 7-8). The
accusation, the provenance of which is unclear ("at least
two other witnesses", page 8), that KR was working "full
time for the Party during the time you were drawing a salary as
a researcher" is denied by KR (see page 8). The denial is
specific and reasoned. The accusation is not based in any of the
material provided by the PCS. It is furthermore a somewhat surprising
accusation. Unless someone were in a position to know what KR
did each day including weekends it is at least very difficult
to see how someone, might truthfully make such an accusation.
There is of course no person who was in such a position during
the relevant period other than KR.
5.5 It may be noted that Suzanne Hilliard supports
the content of KR`s job as something real. SH`s interview of 7
April 2000 broadly confirms the content of KR`s job at page 6-7:
"I was basically to take over the duties Kevin
had had, had done previously which was dealing with any, you know,
sort of press in a sense of keeping an eye on his local papers,
what were the local issues ..."
" ... the work I was doing for Dr Reid was specific
to Dr Reid ... keeping an eye on anything to do with transport
in Scotland ... that sort of idea."
5.6 Thus KR was doing a real job for Dr Reid
over the relevant period. The accusation to the contrary is without
any foundation in the material provided by the PCS. It is of course
also simply untrue.
6.1 It is alleged that in April 1998 Dr Reid
in some way offered KR as a worker for the Labour Party with some
surreptitious understanding that Dr Reid would in effect pay him
by directing a Westminster allowance and that he would thus be
cost-free to the Labour Party. Dr Reid did not do so. It is then
alleged fear this arrangement would be discovered prompted Dr
Reid to seek a full time contract for KR. This is untrue.
6.2 The basis of the allegation does not come
from Mr Sullivan who is wholly silent on these two matters. In
the "record of interview" provided by Mr Nelson, Mr
McKinney is reported as saying :
"I think his Dad [Dr Reid] said I will help
you out. You can have my boy and I will pay for him."
"He [Reid] said my boy`s not doing anything,
he can come in and I will find a way of paying him."
These are of course Mr Nelson`s words.
The "transcript of interview", the second
document, from Mr Nelson has Mr Nelson putting leading questions
to Mr McKinney.
Eg. "DN: "I`ll help out, I want to be a
part of it, here`s my boy, he`s doing bugger all, you can have
him and I`ll pay him. But the actual deal was worked out in detail
between Alex Rowley and Reid.
It is very significant that the accusation is formulated
in Mr Nelson`s words. PM`s assent is hardly specific. What is
revealing is PM`s statement in his own words at the end of the
transcript. Having been pressed by Mr Nelson, PM says:
"... what I can say is this is my recollection
that at some stage in the month of April towards the end of April
that that offer was made ... and that`d be the truth, but I just
don`t know that I could go further than that."
PM`s words are not supportive of the gloss Mr Nelson`s
seeks to place on them. It is especially instructive to examine
PM`s actual words in the meeting note dated 22 March 2000. He
reports at para 4
"He [Dr Reid] said something like "my boy
Kevin isn`t doing anything he could come and help."
This is a very long way from Mr Nelson`s allegation.
Indeed it supports Dr Reid`s account. PM says nothing else to
the PCS to support Mr Nelson`s allegation that Dr Reid offered
some unlawful arrangement to subsidise the Labour campaign. It
should be noted PM puts Dr Reid`s alleged offer as being made
at the end of April (supra). A minute of 26 April 1998 "weekly
strategy meeting" is produced herewith. The penultimate item
"Campaign Team Structure" contains the phrase "Potential
to draft in people currently employed by Scottish MP`s".
PM is shown present. This reveals two matters at least. Mr Rowley
was not present at this meeting and that there is documentary
support for Dr Reid`s statement concerning the meeting of April
1998 (see paras 4 and 5 of statement of 14 February 2000) that
the matter was discussed openly and within the context of financial
provision being made by the Labour Party.
6.3 As to the allegation that in fear of discovery
Dr Reid sought to have KR placed on a full time contract with
the Labour Party, Mr McKinney says at para 10 of the 22nd March
2000 note to the question:
"EF: At what point did you know that Kevin Reid
was employed by John Reid and then by the party?
PM: I did not know that until I saw the newspaper
article. I knew nothing about the employment arrangements."
Mr McKinney is thus not in a position to support
the allegation. Mr Sullivan is in the same position. The documents
provided by Mr Nelson relative to Mr McKinney may of course have
been edited by him. It is respectfully suggested the PCS should
be cautious in looking at those documents without having satisfied
herself that they are full and unedited versions of what they
report Mr McKinney as saying.
6.4 It is necessary to turn to Alex Rowley`s
statement of 21st March 2000. He states he was General Secretary
of the SLP May 1998 to May 1999 (para 1). Mr Rowley does not support
what is alleged about Dr Reid having made the unlawful offer at
such a meeting. He makes no mention of any such offer. On being
asked directly (AR para 9) Mr Rowley says he has no recollection.
What he does say at para 4 is:
"Yes, I discussed the arrangement that Kevin
Reid was working full time but was being paid part time by John
Reid, with John Reid and I discussed the arrangement with Anne
There is no specification of when Mr Rowley says
he had this discussion or what was the content. More importantly
and critically it is central to Mr Rowley`s allegation that KR
was taken on in May 1998 as working "full time". It
is clear from the analysis in the topic "KR hours" that
not only was KR not working "full time" between May
and October 1998 no-one shows he was working full time. Mr Rowley
himself gives no detail to back up the notion that KR was working
full time. The only conclusion is that at best Mr Rowley is critically
mistaken. Mr Rowley cannot of course say what KR did for Dr Reid
after KR left Delta House each day.
Mr Rowley has thus committed himself to an accusation
against Dr Reid. It is assumed he made this or a similar accusation
to Mr Nelson. It is for consideration that having made some such
statement to Mr Nelson which presumably was tape recorded, Mr
Rowley may feel he cannot back out from this serious attack on
Dr Reid`s probity.
6.5 Mr Rowley`s second allegation concerns Dr
Reid`s motive for KR`s move from part time to full time employment
with the Labour Party in October 1998. It is a fact that KR did
move from part time to full time status after October 1998. As
in the foregoing paragraph the critical aspect of this allegation
is that KR must be assumed to be in fact working full time for
the Labour Party and not carrying out his duties for Dr Reid.
Otherwise Dr Reid would have no motive such as Mr Rowley contends
for to bring about the change of status. If KR were in fact part
time, Mr Rowley`s story that there was a fear of being found out
in some way becomes obviously wrong. As is demonstrated in the
analysis in "KR hours" KR was not in fact working full
time in the relevant period. Further Mr Rowley could not speak
at all to what KR did for Dr Reid. Mr Rowley`s second allegation
is therefore also baseless. It is not necessary to speculative
why Mr Rowley should have made this second allegation. It is clear
however it must be rejected. When Mr Rowley carries forward his
allegation somewhat tentatively to Suzanne Hilliard, its falsity
becomes more apparent. On Mr Rowley`s theory, Dr Reid, allegedly
fearful of discovery of an unlawful use of funds and allegedly
determined to conceal this unlawfulness allegedly proceeds to
replicate the same unlawful arrangement with some other person,
namely Suzanne Hilliard. That is what Mr Rowley would have one
believe (see AR para 6, 14). Mr Nelson appears to have believed
this (see "transcript of interview" page 2) where he
tells Mr McKinney
"But as far as I am aware they just separated
the father-son link and moved his money on to somebody else."
Mr Nelson does not give a source for this story.
No-one else advances such a far-fetched theory. Mr Rowley cannot
be regarded as a reliable witness to his allegations against Dr
Reid. The allegations are central to the complaint and the complaint
must fall with those allegations. Mr Rowley`s reliability as a
witness is touched on elsewhere.
6.6 The matter should properly end with Mr Rowley`s
unreliability. There are however two further matters. Firstly
there is an allegation by Mr Rowley as contained in PCS question
27 of some kind of threat to him by Dr Reid. The alleged threat
is denied and the fact of conversations between Mr Rowley and
Dr Reid is dealt with in Answer 27. Secondly there are the statements
of Mr Rafferty.
6.7 Mr Rafferty`s statements are not consistent.
When accompanied by Mr Sharp on 1 March 2000 Mr Rafferty had very
little to say about KR. By 24 March 2000 the question of a "conference
call" is raised (at page 2). Mr Rafferty puts the call as
occurring in June 1999 (page 3). At page 4 he states Chris Winslow
as saying something. He says:
"... I think what he said was "I hope journalists
will not start making mischief around the fact that I was engaged/employed
by John Maxton for a time as was Kevin by his father from their
parliamentary allowances". That is it. No dates were mentioned.
I actually have no knowledge of the periods of employment, of
when they were engaged and on what terms they were engaged. That
EF: Did you take that to imply from what he had said
that he was employed on a Westminster researcher`s salary while
he was working for the Party.
Mr Rafferty: No."
Mr Rafferty is expressly saying he did not infer
that some unlawful or dubious arrangement had occurred. That is
plain in any event from the terms quoted as to Mr Winslow`s statement.
Mr Winslow`s concern was mischief making not the existence of
impropriety. Mr Rafferty went on to point out on the same page
that working on the campaign and for an MP could be legitimate.
He envisaged a concern that newspapers may make allegations about
such a position, the fair implication being such allegations might
be made mischievously by newspapers, (page 4). Mr Rafferty`s narration
of Mr Winslow`s apparent concern is entirely consonant with concern
that mischief might be made by newspapers.
On 6 April 2000 Mr Rafferty is noted as saying :
" ... it seemed to me that it possibly was the
case that Westminster salaries had been used to carry out campaign
And then in contradiction of his statement of 24
March 2000 (para 7 supra)
"The clear implication when he [Winslow] spoke
to me was that while he had been working on the campaign Kevin
Reid had been employed on a Westminster allowance by his father
"... I was lead to believe by these conversations
(sic) that there had been misuse of Westminster allowances
Thus Mr Rafferty has changed his position. It is
unclear why he should have done so. What he previously stated
as Mr Winslow`s concern is entirely consonant with no wrong doing
but a real concern about mischief making by newspapers. Nothing
is said to explain this change of position.
By 18 April 2000 Mr Rafferty`s statements have become
more tentative. Paragraph 9 is not relevant to KR as he was a
full time employee, when Mr Rafferty was employed by the Labour
Party. At paragraph 10 he says "it possibly was the
case that Westminster salaries had been used to carry out campaign
Interestingly Mr Rafferty despite his apparent "distinct
impression that there may have been a very serious problem"
did not seek to clarify the matter with Mr Winslow (nor indeed
It is not clear why he did not follow such an obvious
course of action. At para 12 he relates "my immediate concern
was that there may have been a misuse of public funds if
the period in which they worked on the campaign and the period
when they were employed by MP`s overlapped" (emphasis added).
The same conditional type of answer is given at paragraph 15.
6.8 Mr Rafferty`s view of Mr Winslow`s expression
of concern is a slim basis for support for Mr Nelson`s complaint.
It is not direct knowledge by Mr Rafferty of the factual position.
It is speculation by him. Further the reliability even of this
speculation is questionable given that Mr Rafferty apparently
and inexplicably drew completely different implications on different
days (see para 7 supra : no misuse of allowance 24 March 2000;
misuse of allowance 6 April 2000; possibility of misuse of allowance
18 April 2000).
These documents do make reference to KR. They were
not created by Dr Reid nor has he seen them before. He was not
consulted by whoever created the documents. The documents appear
to refer to KR in a somewhat contradictory manner. An explanation
of the documents should be sought from whoever created them. Mr
Rowley who presumably provided the documents does not seek to
Mr Nelson`s complaint in respect of KR and
Dr Reid is revealed as without sensible support. It is untrue
and denied by Dr Reid.
Close and proper analysis of the statements provided
reveals neither any established case of wrongdoing by Dr Reid
nor any prima facie case. As the statements provided
deal with only those matters where there is an apparent conflict
with Dr Reid`s evidence it is supposed that the PCS has other
sources of evidence which may support Dr Reid`s position. It is
not known what these might be. What is clear is that the principle
persons on whom the complainer has relied do not reliably support
the complaint or indeed any variation of it.